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Tag Archives: appetizer

Neiman Marcus Dip

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I was perusing Minda’s Cooking after a long hiatus and I pinned everything I saw and then made it within a week.  OK, so it was three things, but that’s kind of epic for me. I pin tons of things (seriously, I’m almost at 8,000 pins), but rarely make them, let alone all at once. Minda’s blog was speaking my language, though.  First it was the  Frito Salad. Then it was this dip.  Then it was the Crockpot Chicken & Stuffing. Bring on the easy-to-make comfort food.

OK so we’ve already established that dip is my thing.  Dip is like majorly my thing.  If dip were a man, I would marry him and then eat all our dip babies. OK, maybe that’s going a little too far, but not by much.  And this dip is so, so good.  Totally meets my dip standards because it’s fat, plus more fat, plus some more x 2, with onions, which means it’s delicious. Can’t go wrong with quadruple fat plus onions.

All kidding aside, this dip is some serious goodness.  It’s creamy, crunchety, bacony goodness.  Make it, and you’ll be a superstar at your next potluck, game day, or to yourself as you spend some quality alone-time with it.

Neiman Marcus Dip

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5-6 green onions, sliced (both white and green parts)
1 (8 oz) package cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (3 oz) package real bacon bits
1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds, toasted & cooled completely
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise

Stir all ingredients together well in a mixing bowl.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe source: Minda’s Cooking

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Fresh Mild Salsa

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The secret ingredients chosen for the Holiday Recipe Club‘s Cinco de Mayo blog hop were dulce de leche, tomatoes, and chorizo.  For last month’s Easter blog hop, I went crazy and put a lot of effort into creating something with all three secret ingredients (carrot cracker treats with carrots, spinach, and eggs).  This month, I’m totally cheating and taking the easy route by using this as an excuse to finally post my fresh salsa recipe that I won third place for at the fair last year.

My inspiration for the recipe came from my sister, Danielle, who usually only makes recipes that turn out things like soap, lip balm, or bath fizzies.  But one edible thing she does make, and well, is fresh salsa.  Her secret ingredient is orange juice, and while I didn’t follow her original recipe to a T, I did make sure to use some fresh orange juice in it. I also replaced the jalapeño with poblano, which is a mild pepper, sort of like a bell pepper with just a bit of kick to it.  (I love spicy food but I was making this salsa for the “mild” category.  The salsa also had to use fresh ingredients, which is why I didn’t just make my favorite salsa.)  If you’d like a hotter salsa, dice up some seeded jalapeño instead!

The judges loved my salsa, but said it had a bit too much garlic, so I’ve adjusted the recipe to up it to blue ribbon status by cutting the garlic from four cloves (hey, what can I say, I love garlic!) to two (the amount in Dani’s original recipe–I should have listened to the expert!).  But as with all recipes, just add amounts to suit your own tastes!

Fresh Mild Salsa

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6 medium fresh tomatoes on the vine
1 poblano pepper, seeded and finely diced
½ large red onion, finely diced
½ a bunch of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1-2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
Juice from ½ a lime, ½ a lemon, and ½ an orange
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly grated pepper

Finely dice the tomatoes, removing the seeded pulp as you go, and place them in a wire mesh sieve set over a bowl to drain for five minutes. Discard juice, then stir the tomatoes and all other ingredients together in a large bowl. Store in the refrigerator.

Makes 2 pints.

Recipe source: adapted from Danielle Davis

Check out the other Cinco de Mayo recipes in the blog hop by clicking below!



Tortilla Pinwheels

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I know this appetizer isn’t very Easter-y, but it’s party food and the closest thing I have in my saved pictures of all the recipes I need to post so I hope that it might come in handy for a few of you.  If not, you can always save it for a later date!

Whenever I need to bring something to a party, I usually think of desserts first (I just can’t help it), brainstorming what sort of deliciousness I can create, and then I remember I should bring something real to eat as well, and I rely on a few basic recipes for this drudgery.  Crockpot Meatballs and Peppers in Cranberry Chili Sauce is my #1 go-to recipe, and these Tortilla Pinwheels are my #2 for non-dessert party food.  (Did you know party food is divided into just two food groups?  Well, it is in my world, anyway: desserts and non-desserts.  Guess which one ranks #1 with me? )

These are really tasty with a creamy, cheesy filling that is kicked up by the green chiles, onions, and olives.  I never bother, but since they have a southwestern flare, you can serve salsa alongside for dipping.  Enjoy!

Tortilla Pinwheels

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Printable recipe with picture

1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 can (4-1/4 ounces) chopped ripe olives
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, well drained
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
5 flour tortillas (10 inches), room temperature
Optional: fresh parsley for garnish & salsa

In a large bowl, beat the first eight ingredients until blended. Spread over the tortillas; roll up tightly. Wrap each with plastic wrap, twisting ends; refrigerate for several hours. Unwrap; cut into 1/2-in. to 3/4-in. slices. (An electric knife works best.) Discard ends (into your mouth :D big grin). Garnish with parsley. Serve with salsa if desired. Yield: about 4 dozen.

Recipe source: slightly adapted from Taste of Home

Seasoned Crackers


It’s been several years since I’ve made seasoned crackers, and I decided I wanted to add them to our holiday spread again this year, which always includes lots of random and fun snacks and appetizers.  But I lost my recipe!  I knew my friend, Sandy, had her recipe for them posted on Facebook, so I went there in a frenzy when I was whipping these up the night before we were set to travel.  (Thank you for saving me, Sandy!)  Realizing I only had a single bag of oyster crackers, I subbed in a bag of Goldfish crackers and decided to double the ranch dressing mix and the end result was some of the best seasoned crackers I’ve ever had.  In this case, losing my recipe was a lucky thing because this new version is even better than my old favorite!

These would be perfect for New Years, Super Bowl, tailgating–basically any party in any season!  During the winter months, the leftovers make a great garnish for soups.

Seasoned Crackers

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1 (12 oz) bag oyster crackers
1 (6.6 oz) bag Goldfish crackers
1 (1 oz) envelope ranch dressing mix
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ cup vegetable oil

Mix crackers in a large bowl. Sprinkle dressing mix and spices over the crackers, then pour oil over it all. Mix until the oil is absorbed. Cover and store overnight for the flavors to develop.

*Veronica’s note: Cheez-its would make a great substitute for the Goldfish crackers! Use about three cups, or 7 ounces.

Recipe source: adapted from Sandy S.

Crockpot Meatballs and Peppers in Cranberry Chili Sauce


I have brought these meatballs to our family’s Christmas eve party for the last two years and both times they disappeared quickly, followed by high praise. For good reason–they are the best party meatballs evah! Even if you don’t add the peppers, they’re great, but the peppers add some nutrition, some beauty, some class, some variety, some color, and, most importantly, some extra flavah!

Betty Crockah! Respiratah! Operatah! What’s for dinnah? ……..supercalifragilisticexpialidociousah!

I apologize. I’m sort of crazy with exhaustion right now and am finding the strangest things amusing. You should try replacing the ending letters of words with “ah” when you’re tired, too. It makes exhaustion more interesting.

Anyway.

I’m squeezing this recipe in this week (and I have so many more to come–sorry I’m a procrastinator!) because you so need to bring them to your own Christmas eve party this year and then keep making them for things like New Years, the Supah Bowl (hehehe), potlucks, etc., etc. They are the best evah! Wait, I already said that. I’m so tired.

meatballsb-12-1910

Crockpot Meatballs and Peppers in Cranberry Chili Sauce

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Printable recipe with picture

1 (5 pound) bag frozen Italian meatballs
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
2 (14 ounce) cans jellied cranberry sauce
2 (12 ounce) jars chili sauce
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional but recommended
Salt
Freshly ground pepper

Place the meatballs in crockpot. Slice all the peppers into strips, discarding the cores and seeds, and place on top of the meatballs. In a large saucepan, combine the cranberry sauce, chili sauce, red pepper flakes, a pinch of salt, and some pepper, and bring to a simmer. Whisk while heating until the sauces combine and you have a smooth sauce. Pour over the peppers and meatballs; do not stir. Cook on the low setting for 8 hours or on high for about 4 to 5 hours. Stir well to incorporate the peppers before serving. To make these into a meal, serve over rice.

Recipe source: adapted from The Cooking Photographer

A big thanks to my husband, Dennis, who took the photos for me because I’ve been so busy!  God bless him.  He’s the best.  Evah. :)

Vegetable Pizza


My buddy, Suzie, shared this recipe with me and I’m so excited to spread the love!  It is meant to be cut into little squares and served as an appetizer, but I never have need of appetizers so I just made them into big triangles to look more like real pizza and served them for dinner.  It was hard to stop at two slices!  I love the combination of the crescent dough, dill dip, cheddar cheese and veggies.  I think I may even like it better than real pizza!  I’m kind of obsessed now!

Vegetable Pizza
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2 tubes (8 oz. each) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 (15.5 oz.) container vegetable dill dip
2 ½ c. broccoli florets
2 ½ c. cauliflower florets
1 bunch green onion, thinly sliced
½ c. red onion, diced (I left this out)
3 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 small can sliced black olives, drained (I forgot these)
2 ½ c. shredded cheddar cheese

Unroll two tubes crescent dough and press into an ungreased 15 x 10 inch baking sheet; seal seams and perforations. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely on wire rack. Once cooled, spread the dill dip over the crust (you will have some leftover). Sprinkle with the cheese, vegetables, and olives. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. Cut into squares. Refrigerate leftovers.

*If you cannot find the dill dip, you can make it: 2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, 2/3 c. mayonnaise, 1 T. dill weed. Mix all in a bowl until smooth.
*Any vegetables you want may obviously be used in this dish, red or yellow peppers, mushrooms, etc.

*Veronica’s note: to make this more like real pizza, I left the triangles in their original shape and separated them before baking, reshaping the ones that were too long and skinny. Then I just prepared each piece individually as I needed them for the next couple days, storing everything separate in the fridge.   I also made my own dip, but with my own recipe: 1 cup mayonnaise, 1 cup sour cream, 1 tablespoon dried dill, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, and a little salt.

Recipe source: Suzie Shaw

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